What was originally a taut procedural thriller involving creatures of the night, enough sexual tension to hold up a suspension bridge, and loads of intriguing genetic science has now become, for all intents and purposes, a loving tribute to bacon.
I blame you people.
Oh, you know who you are, tweeps. You and your geekly pursuit of all things bacon flavoured, bacon oriented, bacon slathered. Yes, I spent the last two nights writing a chapter wherein an angry, sexy vampire chick for all intents and purposes lovingly prepares an inordinate amount of bacon for the human male she should rightly stab in the eye. I hate you.
On the other hand, it’s actually a very funny chapter, and it’s sort of sweet, and lots of endearing things happen. It also strangely moves the plot along faster than a dance party full of undertones of blood suckerly tension would have. So…thanks? We’ll see how it sells. If it gets on the New York Times bestseller list, I will buy you all a pony. If it does well enough where I can just write full time, I will thank you all and continue to write more books about sexy vampires preparing bacon for men. If it only ever sells to twelve people on Twitter, I will hunt some fools down, and possibly go stabby kill-kill.
But no matter. Who was I kidding anyhow? There is nothing “taut” about my writing. It has ever been and always will be a rambling tumble of conversations, thoughts, and the occasional bit of action. The lovely thing about my writing is that it is completely unfilmable. You will never be subjected to any of my writing on screen. This should be a source of immense relief to you, as there is not one “A list” actor I could possibly want inhabiting any of my characters.
Anyhow, a couple of you have very kindly asked if there is a preview available, and yes, I did post one on my older blog a while back. I’ll post it again here since this site is far easier to read. I hope you don’t hate it. Also? This is now one of the very few non-bacon oriented scenes in the story. Treasure it, bacon haters. From the original post:
I have actually found what I believe to be a non-spoilery snippet of my vampire/procedural/hot-throbbing-gobs-of-sexual-tension novel, which I have tentatively titled, if it’s ok by @Recoilboss & Maggie Estep, Softly In A Dark Whisper. So without further ado, the snippet, from Chapter Five: “Errbody in the Club”.
The elevator opened to the basement garage. She felt eyes on her back and whipped around. “Is it cat hair?” she asked, suddenly paranoid. “I knew I should have asked you to pass a lint roller over me.” His lack of an immediate answer allowed her to notice that he was slightly embarrassed. “What?” she asked him.
Charlie really could not believe he was caught red handed staring at anybody’s ass, let alone this broad’s, but her insistence on a reason behind it was intolerable. “No, no cat hair. Everything’s fine. Let’s go. Is this your car?” He was pointing to a forest green Corolla and she lowered perhaps one of the most withering gazes she had landed on him since they first met. This might even have topped the shooting-her-gaze.
“Are you fucking insane?” she asked, now at full stop approximately an inch from him. He had to stop very suddenly to avoid knocking her over, and it threw him off balance. He reeled a tad, which was just as well because she seemed to have forgotten about the staring thing. She was not going to let the car thing go, though. “Do I look like a Toyota Corolla type of woman to you?”
“Uh, no,” he offered, along with an affable grin lacking completely in anything resembling confidence. “We just, you just stopped here so I…”
“So you assumed because I asked you about cat hair that I own this monument to ennui? Seriously?” Her eyes made him feel like he might have been in less danger immediately after shooting her.
“No, I just, hey! I bet that’s your car!” He pointed with great enthusiasm at a black Mercedes. Her eyes followed his index finger. She turned around slowly.
“That’s better.” She turned toward said car and started walking toward it, thankfully all memory of ass staring and Corolla behind her. “Toyota Corolla my ass,” she mumbled.
Ok so maybe not, he thought. And she continued, on the entire drive to the Sierra Nevada, to explain to him exactly why she wouldn’t be caught dead in a Toyota Corolla, how people who drive them are legally required, apparently, to go at least ten miles under the speed limit, how forest green is the colour of used cars. How if the sun was coming up and the only place she could hide was the trunk of a forest green ‘97 Toyota Corolla, she would happily opt to go up in flames. How not even a frat guy would throw up in one. How only born again Christian moms on their way to Pampered Chef parties would not feel profound and abject shame in driving one, how…
“Maybe we should have a sort of strategy,” he suggested, realizing this was for some reason a sore topic for her. “Like, I ought to know what I am walking into, right?”
“Walking into? You’re walking into a club. You’ve never been in a club?”
He sighed. “Of course I’ve been in a club. I don’t frequent them, I don’t go into them on purpose if I can help it, but I understand the club environment. So how are we doing this? Am I going in as your boyfriend or potential dinner or security or…”
“What? What on earth are you talking about?”
He was confused by her confusion. “We have to have a story, right? What’s our story?”
She glared at him as long as possible while driving safely. “Our story is, you tricked me and then tried to kill me and now I want to find out who really killed the little boys. That is the story.”
He shook his head like he was trying to get water out of his ears. “You don’t just go up to a potential suspect and say ‘This is the guy who shot me and he intends to do in whichever of you actually killed the human kids.’ You’ll get nowhere.”
“Shows what you know. You don’t know my people. They like the truth. They will suss out a lying human in a heartbeat.”
“Really. But you’re right, that is kind of…brusque.”
He smiled slightly. “It does lack a certain subtlety.”
“Huh. Well, how would you do it, Hoss?”
“I would…” he gave himself a second to do a double take, decided not to ask. “I would have you do the asking, then. Would they know if you were up to some policey subterfuge?”
She cocked her head to the side a bit. “Not really. They don’t expect such a thing from me, and they aren’t really thinking when I’m around.” She said this pretty casually, and because of that, he wasn’t sure what she meant.
“Why aren’t they thinking?”
Another micro glare. “Wow, you are just a charmer when you’re not working a mark, aren’t you?” He felt slightly bad, but still wasn’t sure why. She sighed. “I’m a Grail. My pheromones hit them in ways human men can’t imagine.”
He thought about that for a second, then said, “Wait. Are you going to be the only female vampire there?”
“For a time, yes. It’s ladies’ night. The boys will be out in force, looking for easy meals. If I delay them from feeding long enough, they will be mad with hunger and desire, and will pretty much answer whatever I ask them.”
He looked at her, because she wasn‘t saying this with any boastfulness. It was just a fact in her mind. “Really?”
“Really really. The girls will show up half way through, then continue the ruse. They will pretend to get hammered off vodka, but they will be ordering water. The humans boys who still haven’t paired off by one A.M. with a hammered human lady will be easy pickings. Night of their lives.”
He shook his head slowly. “But no killing?”
She jerked the car to the side of the road & turned it off so she could glare at him properly. “No killing! They’ll feed a little in the midst of passion, it will be happy for everybody involved, and nobody will remember a thing in the morning except that they got laid by an incredibly hot woman who doesn’t want a long term relationship. Everybody wins. Killing them means they’re not around any more. How does that work for anyone?!”
He looked at her, at her arms waving around, her hands going, the tension of her mouth and the light in her eyes. He had seen this kind of…fanaticism?…before. In vegetarians. In P.E.T.A. demonstrators. She really did want to protect the little animals. It was endearing and creepy at the same time, because this meant, of course, that he himself was a little animal.
“Ok, I understand,” he said, taking her waving hands in his and letting her simmer down a little. She continued to glare at him, breathe hard, but he waited until her white shoulders started going up and down just a little slower before he said, “I look forward to seeing how this careful procedure works now, ok? We should get going.”
She searched his face for a moment, then snatched her hands out of his, started the car again, and got back on the road. He found her nigh inability to master her rage…amusing? No, that wasn’t right. It was more fascinating than amusing. He had met a lot of women who were into causes or passionate about something, but she was fiercely protective of both protagonist and antagonist. The burden of her people and his people was on her shoulders, to her, and it was interesting watching her start to perceive him as outside both species. He wondered what it meant.
He almost didn’t want to ask, but couldn’t stop himself. “Are you going to…have something to eat tonight?”
She sighed. “No. I don’t have to eat.”
“I have something else to accomplish. I can go another day without.”
“That hardly seems healthy.”
“Oh, so now you want me to stalk humans?”
“No! Well, I don’t want you to starve or make yourself sick. I mean, that’s no good, right?”
“No, it’s just a hassle. A hassle I don’t need right now.”
He felt he might be a hassle, too. Then it dawned on him: “Do you sleep with the people you feed from?”
“What? No, not all the time. Actually, not in a long time. I don’t really have to; my bite is pretty potent.” She turned into the vast hotel parking wasteland.
“What do you mean? I mean, what does that mean?”
“We…oh, you don’t know. Feeding is…humans like it. We don’t have time to talk about this, though. You have to observe some ground rules.”
“There are things that happen in sanguinus society. When we gather to speak to each other, humans are not…welcome. You will have to be somewhere else.”
“No, not going to happen. I have to hear what you hear.”
“Then you’ll hear nothing. They won’t say anything in front of you. You can be off to the side. You should go as…just act like you’re my security, ok? Make chat with the club security. Or at least make nice.”
“You can’t act like I’m your boyfriend or something? We could be sitting down, having drinks and they all come sit with us and…”
“Are you high? It’s a club. We’re going to dance. Do you dance?”
A shock of terror penetrated his spine. He managed to barely choke out, in a dry whisper, “Christ no I do not dance.”
“Then that is not going to work. Also they will know, again, in a heartbeat, that you are not my boyfriend, remember?”
“Security you can pull off. I can pull off the idea that you are the irritating man I have to have following me around for undisclosed reasons. Nobody will sense anything off about that. I can come back to you periodically, update you, give you names, places, ideas to work on. But you have to let it take its time, and you can’t judge. You can’t…you mustn’t act like vampire culture is disturbing to you.”
“Just…be good.” She got out of the car. He followed, panicky. More panicky than he liked.
“What do you mean? Am I going to be disturbed?”
She was already striding way out ahead of him, so she shouted back, “Just don’t…don’t get overly protective. Unless humans are involved. You’ll know. Trust me, you’ll know when they’re human. But other than that, let me be, ok?”
He ran to catch up with her, touched her arm. She stopped and whirled around, dropping a corner of her cashmere wrap. He picked it up and pulled it around her. “What do you mean?” He searched her eyes but she was not going to elaborate. “Don’t get overly protective, what do you mean? What will happen to you?”
“Just…have you ever been at a coffee shop with a bunch of goth kids?”
“Just don’t overreact.” She snatched the ends of her wrap from his hand and started up the stairs to the casino doors.
Would you like to read more? Because I have to write more. If you want to read more, let me know. I will continue to write it even if you hate it, because I love these characters and they make me happy. But I mostly hope some of you love it, or are at least intrigued enough to want a little more in your life, and perhaps maybe hold a copy in your little hands one day, all snuggled in bed, to read.